Off To Reykjavik, We Go!

Since the second I got back from my Ireland trip, I had major wanderlust fever. Once you go on a solo adventure like that, especially in one of the most breathtaking, kind-hearted Nordic countries, how can you not? That said, I could see my next move in my twenty-something adventure from a mile away. 😉

I found a $300 round-trip ticket to Reykjavik, Iceland, a country that has easily been prioritized to the top of my bucket list (I have this mega crush on the Nordic countries…) so that decision was clearly a no-brainer.

While it’s taken some quality last minute planning (my life these days), I’ve finally booked and confirmed my itinerary for my Labor Day Weekend! And since I’ve gotten so many questions about where I’m going, what I’m doing, and where I’m staying — here you go!

Flight leaves from Chicago to Reyk this Thursday, and I land in Reyk at 11am Friday morning, just in time to start the day with new, Nordic adventures!  

Day 1: Friday

I’m staying at, wait for it…Galaxy Pod Hostel in the heart of Reykjavik, WHAT!? Just wait for the pics. 😉

The early afternoon will be filled with wandering around Iceland’s capital, exploring the adorable streets and paths of Reykjavik, popping in and out of restaurants, bars, and hanging with the locals and other solo travelers.

5pm on, I’m taking a scenic boat cruise out into Faxaflói Bay for some Iceland whale watching — SO FREAKING EXCITED. Obviously given the Iceland elements pertaining to all things, weather, if it gets too cold to be front and center, the boat has a warm indoor viewing area with hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and snacks.

We’ll be keeping our eyes open for white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, humpback whales and harbor porpoises. Talk about a perfect afternoon in Iceland!

Day 2: Saturday

I am soooo beyond excited to share what Day 2 has in store! 😉 My hostel is approx. 15-20 minute walk to The Blue Lagoon — if you don’t know about The Blue Lagoon (but you def should since it’s the go-to tourist destination of the year!), it’s one of the most sought out geothermal spas in southwestern Iceland. There will be:

  • Silica mud mask

  • 1st drink of your choice (ummm martini plz?)

  • TONS of photos and relaxation!

Now for the evening – my favorite part. I’ll be driving through Iceland’s lava-coated landscapes as I travel east to the Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal baths. I’ll arrive at the Fontana complex, which rests on the shores of Lake Laugarvatn, and basically use the afternoon into the night to experience the three interconnected outdoor mineral baths (each has a different depth and temperature) — and soak in the lake views into the night! If I’m lucky enough to have the perfect evening conditions, I will get to witness and experience first-hand The Aurora Borealis. WHAT!?

Stay tuned for photos and live stream videos. 😉

Day 3: Sunday

On to Day 3. I’ll be exploring the southern coast of Iceland — the Sólheimajökull Glacier, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, and of course, the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. There will be lots, lots, and LOTS of photos and videos of these majestic places, so more to come!

Day 4: Monday

My last day in Iceland. Like I said, my planning here was a wee bit last minute, but my flight back to the US doesn’t leave until 9pm Reyk time. So, that gives me another full day of exploring with the Nords and experiencing that much more of Iceland! I’m hopeful, if I can pull it off, to spend the morning/afternoon venturing through The Golden Circle. I have a tendency to just go with the flow, so my guess is I’ll make some fun local friends (or other solo travelers) who have the time to share the last day’s adventure — we shall see!


So there you have it! My action-packed (very last minute planned) Iceland adventure!

One question I get asked on a regular basis is if I’m scared to travel alone. And every time, for as long as I will ever have to answer this question…no! I can’t tell you why, but there is nothing about solo travel that scares me. I’m very independent, self-aware as well as aware of my surroundings, and just generally speaking curious about the world. I’ve learned more about who I am and what’s really important in my life through traveling alone.

Why?

Because you have the opportunity to live off of your own timeline; to push your own limits. To discover who you are, what you love; what it is that really keeps you chasing after and living your dream.

For me, it’s traveling the world. Experiencing monumental moments in more than monumental places, and meeting remarkable people along the way.

If you still don’t know what it is that keeps you going, that’s okay! It’s never too late to find what it is that keeps your heart beating faster, your dreams aiming higher, your love growing stronger.

Xoxo,

Alexa

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This One Is For The Girls

I am her. I am your classic Midwest gal with a strong heart and more than loving spirit who falls for the douchebags; the guys who live for the chase; the guys who just don’t care.

I knew it then, and I know it now.

But over the past few years, there’s one thing that’s changed. I’m not afraid to feel confident in believing I deserve more. I’ve realized so many things, in part from being played one too many times, but also from learning to just love being on my own. So what’s changed?

I don’t put up with being another option. Ever. I’ll be their friend and I’ll be there for them if they let me be, but I won’t waste my time on the one who tries to play me.

It took quite some time to get to a place where it’s a one and done. One too many chances and they still can’t get it? Easy, no brainer. He’s just not worth it.

So, this one is for the girls. This one is for those who don’t believe their own worth. This ones for those who just need to hear it.

Don’t put your life on hold for him.

Don’t wait for him to change. For him to treat you better. For him to hurt you first.

Don’t wait for him to make up his mind; don’t wait for him to choose you. People mature at different paces, especially men. Don’t wait for him to find answers when you already have yours.

Don’t push your friends and family to the side for someone who doesn’t embrace or accept everyone you love; everyone who is most important to you.

Don’t stop believing in a world you love to live for the guy who doesn’t put in the effort to be a part of it.

Don’t change your looks, your passions, your dreams, your personality, for the guy who doesn’t already appreciate everything that makes you who you are.

Don’t make excuses for his behavior. Don’t put up with sorry after sorry. You know your worth, even if it takes some convincing to realize it. So don’t settle for the guy who continues to play you.

Don’t wait for him to let you down. Don’t wait for him to apologize when he’s been given one too many chances. Don’t wait for the guy who you already know doesn’t deserve it.

Don’t wait for him to love you for you truly understand what it’s like to feel loved, appreciated, desired. Don’t wait for him to love you for you to understand how to love yourself.

Don’t give him the power to control your emotions.

Don’t be afraid to be real with him. Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions. Don’t be afraid to show him who you really are.

Don’t give up because he ghosted you. Don’t blame yourself when he doesn’t know what he wants. Don’t let it slide when he doesn’t give 100%.

Don’t text him when he doesn’t respond; don’t sit there and wait for him to respond. Live your life. Be with family. Be with friends. Invest your time and attention in people who don’t let you down.

Don’t question your worth for the guy who doesn’t make you feel worthy of being loved. You know that you deserve better, and you tell yourself you do. But I’m telling you right here and now; shooting it straight. Because whether it’s been two days, two months, or two years, you may still be sitting there telling yourself you deserve better, yet you’re still questioning your worth. Girl, if that’s the case then he isn’t worth it. End it. Free yourself from the worry and doubt. Allow yourself to be with someone who wants every part of you, because they genuinely love, desire, and cherish every part of you.

You deserve better. You know you do. Take a deep breath; take a leap of faith. Trust yourself; trust your heart. Let go of the one who is keeping you waiting for a life that is passing you by.

Start living your life. Your best life. And soon enough, when the stars align in Gods timing, someone who is deserving of your love will be ready for you. 

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How To Live Your Best Life at 25

Throughout my early twenties, there were so many times when I doubted myself and what I was capable of. I was stuck in this rut of a mindset wondering how it could be possible to just start over from the beginning and create a life I could be unashamedly and unapologetically proud of. Where would I even begin?

Just pick a place, and start.  

My life was an established safe zone. No breaking the rules, no sharing too much of my opinion, no taking too many chances, no pushing limits, no trying too hard. Everything was safe and comfortable.

All I remember thinking during that time was, “this isn’t what I want” or “this doesn’t feel right”. I felt stuck in life in my early twenties; stuck in this pre-determined timeline of all of the things I need to accomplish, or boxes I need to check off the list, by x, y, and z date(s).

Society and the world around me seemed to have already created a plan for how my life should pan out — graduate from college, land the perfect full-time job and the boy, get an apartment, get engaged, get married. We’ve all heard that annoying voice in the back of our head telling us this is how things should be. Well, society, appreciate the kind gesture and proactive planning, but seriously no thanks!

Somewhere along the line, I realized I wasn’t even living my life for myself. I was living a life I thought I was supposed to be living — safe and comfortable.

So, I picked a place and started from the very beginning.

This is how I have transformed my life from one that was just passing me by, into one I am unashamedly and unapologetically proud of.

  • I put myself as my #1 priority.

I make it a priority to take good care of my mind, body, and spirit. Trying new things to keep a positive and optimistic outlook on life day in and out. Becoming my own best friend, knowing I am good enough all on my own.

  • I focus on what makes me happy.

I invest time, effort, and happiness in the things (tangible or not) that make me feel accomplished and fulfilling. I invest in everything that makes me the best version of myself.

  • I say yes to new opportunities.

I love new. I love exciting, challenging, and taking chances. I love saying yes to anything and everything that is so far out of my comfort zone in order to become stronger and wiser; to make myself an overall better human being.

  • I learn, forgive, and move forward.

Something didn’t work out? I tried and I failed? I loved and I lost? Great, lesson learned and onto the next. I try, I fail, I learn, I grow, I succeed. I forgive my past and embrace what’s to come. I move forward.

  • I travel.

I don’t get too comfortable in one place. I don’t stick to a clique. I travel to learn about the world, hear and share stories from varying ways and walks of life. I become a better, well-rounded, human learning to embrace the gift of life. Cherishing those who lift me up, and inspiring those who need some uplifting in their lives.

  • I embrace different cultures.

Through travel and sharing adventures with individuals from all over the world, I have learned that I have a gift – a gift of sharing my love with not just one person, but many people. With places, ideas, passions. With everything this world has to offer.

  • I trust the process.

I’ve learned that there is no reason to dwell on the what coulda shoulda woulda. Learning to do the best I can possibly do in everything that I do; everything will find a way to work out in the end.

  • I have faith.

When I’m having an off day, or I’m just not feeling inspired or happy, I lean on my faith. I open the bible and read God’s uplifting and generous words, and that alone brings me back to where I need to be. Every day, I write down three things I’m grateful for because, in my experience, a positive attitude begins with a grateful spirit.

  • I surround myself with quality, positive people.

I have vowed to live an unapologetic life filled with people who allow me to be the best version of myself. Those toxic relationships in your life? You don’t need them, I promise you that.

  • I prioritize self-love over dating.

This alone completely transformed my life; how I live my life and how I view my life. I have found more love and appreciation for the woman I am and the things I’ve accomplished. I’ve found more worth and purpose from a positive, driven, charismatic spirit than I could ever find from one man. I have learned that men may come and go until the right one comes along, but even so, I am enough all on my own.

  • I don’t settle.

I don’t put my life on hold for him. I don’t wait for him; I don’t wait for him to change, for him to choose me, for him to treat me better. I don’t settle for less than I deserve.

  • I willingly do things that scare me.

I push my limits and take in everything life has to offer, because life is too short not to.

  • I don’t take myself, or life, too seriously.

From personal experience, the only way I really know how to deal with the ups and downs is by anticipating plot twists, and finding humor whenever possible.

  • I spend more money on experiences than “stuff”.

In 60 years from now, I want to look back on a life filled with love, experiences, and moments from around the world. I want to garner enough wisdom in my life through experiences to share with/inspire friends, family, children, grandchildren.

  • I invested in my company’s 401(k) and savings account.

Ok yes, this is a very responsible and safe thing to do. But I definitely know future me will appreciate this 10-20 years from now.

  • I work hard on the things I’m passionate about.

I make time for photography, writing, creating content. Even running, dancing like a fool in my apartment, singing Whitney Houston as loud as I want — investing time in the things that inspire me and trying something new every now and then to keep myself on my toes.

  • I voice my opinion with the intention of making an impact.

In just 25 years, I’ve experienced more than many people can say at that age. Both good and bad, and everything in between. But I’ve learned from every experience and have gained an immense amount of wisdom — too much to not share with the people going through similar experiences. I want to be the voice for those who can’t speak up; be the light for those who can’t find it in themselves; the encouragement for those who don’t feel it.

  • I party on the weekends.

I’m still young, wild, and reckless. I work hard and party harder. I live life on the wild side like a typical 25-year old single woman. And honestly, you should too, because the reality is time passes by all too quickly, and your twenties are the years to be wild for a while.

  • I appreciate the woman I’ve become.

I love being with friends and family, but I love time to myself just as much. I appreciate the person I’ve become — I appreciate taking time to grow independently, spiritually, physically, emotionally. Taking the time to enjoy my own company and simply be in the moment. Learning from my mistakes and achievements, accepting the past and embracing the future. Welcoming each new day as exactly that — a new day. A new day to learn, grow, fail, and succeed.

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Chasing Dreams With A Gypsy State Of Mind

If you asked me five years ago what I pictured my life to be like at 25-years-old, my answer would not be chasing big city dreams with a gypsy state of mind.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when or where my life took a 360-turn and everything changed — my spirit, my desire for more, my independence, my zest for life.

But, I can tell you that it all started with heartbreak and hitting my personal, darkest, most-ultimate low. A point in time where I came to realize that I wasn’t living a life that was undeniably mine, pushing my limits to really understand the meaning of my life; or what my purpose was.

I wish I had a better explanation for how my mindset and perspective changed, because I know how many people in this world could really use that type of advice right now — but I don’t. All I really have to say is that one day, I woke up from this new level of darkness and heartache that I didn’t understand, and made a conscious decision to fight back. I know just as well as the next person, that heartbreak and depression affect every angle of your life, from every spectrum across the board — but even so, it can [at times] be what triggers and reignites that fire, curiosity, and ambition that has since been lost.

At a certain point, I decided I wanted more for myself; I needed more for myself, and I made a commitment to say yes to every opportunity in order to live my best, most fulfilling life.

So, why does this even matter? What has one, single decision of just saying yes to life done for me?

Professionally

  • Promotions and taking on a larger role with a leading premium content publisher.

Personally

  • Taking pride and dedication in taking my writing journey to the next level — working more closely with Thought Catalog and ENTITY Mag as an established Author on leading content and media magazine platforms.
  • Building my personal brand: creating effective social content and collaborating with top-brands around the world.
  • Traveling: Instead of placing my worth in the hands of others, I’ve taken full control and ownership of my worth through practicing self-love and sharing it with new places and people — from varying ways and walks of life; coast to coast and internationally.
  • Making a difference. To learn and know myself well enough to not care about contrasting opinions — to stay true to my heart, share my love, and encourage those from all over the world. To make a difference whenever, wherever possible.

So, why does this even matter? This matters because YOU CAN come back from the dark place. YOU CAN start over; create a life that was destined to be yours. YOU CAN create your own success story. YOU CAN change your perspective; YOU CAN change your life.

This matters because for the last several years, I’ve had people repeatedly asking me how I can just do what I do; in my professional and personal life, from all over the world. Well, my answer is really quite simple. I decided to say yes. I decided to live my life, not according to social norm and expectations; but exactly the opposite.

To live my life differently from anyone else; to shape my life based on my dreams, my wishes, and my passions. 

My happiness and my success are not defined by the amount of money I make — my happiness and success are defined by finding passion and purpose in everything I do; sharing unwavering love, encouragement, and spontaneity with everyone, anywhere, and everywhere in this world.

How you define your happiness and success — well, that is 100% completely and unashamedly up to YOU.

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Officially Taking MDW To…😏

Welcome to New York, it’s been waitin’ for you. ❤️

As anyone and their mothers could imagine, I live a very chaotic, high performance, spontaneous lifestyle.

I don’t like becoming too comfortable in one place for too long because all I want to do is find a new adventure, meet new people, and experience a different side of the world. My heart literally craves the high and adrenaline rush that comes from always being on-the-go; picking a place on a map and just saying yes.

So naturally, as everyone started asking about my Memorial Day Weekend plans [and realizing how I really hadn’t planned anything at all…] I went to one of my best girlfriends who lives in the heart of Manhattan. We have been talking about me coming to NYC for like, ever, but life’s crazy has gotten in the way more than a couple of times.

It took us a solid ten minutes, give or take, to purchase my tickets and plan a full blown Manhattan girls weekend.

Side note: last week was the most insane work week of my life, I thought I would honestly need through MDW to sleep off the stress. So…

Needless to say, there’s no place I’d rather let loose than THE BIG APPLE!

Lots of people ask me how I can afford these random, last minute trips. Well, I have a travelers trick for y’all. 😜

Two words: Hopper App

Seriously, it’s the greatest. It’s where I bought my Ireland, Iceland, and now New York City round trip tickets — and it’s super easy!

  • Download Hopper from your mobile App Store
  • Enter your travel to and from destinations
  • Voila! Hopper will spit out the lowest rates out there (seriously, sometimes these rates are crazy not to jump on…)

So, to all my wanderlust travel bugs out there — you’ve found your saving grace! I’m not a millionaire and I don’t have a tree of unlimited cash, but I do put a decent chunk of change in my savings account with each paycheck, so if I can find a way to do what I love at 25…you can too. 😘

Obviously, there’s going to be never-ending photos and videos of my Manhattan adventures, so be sure to follow along @alexaraeloebel. New York may be the next city to steal my heart…🌍❤️

We’ll find out, NYC!

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